Coronavirus Update & Prevention in Cordova
The Cordova Chamber is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving issues and recommendations related to the COVID-19 Pandemic and our community’s mitigation strategies. At this time, we are following the best advice available to businesses which is to encourage personal protective measures that include:
– Encouraging individuals that are sick with respiratory illness to stay home
– Using audio/video conferencing for meetings when possible
– Encouraging social distancing strategies that include maintaining a 6-foot separation from others and considering postponing or canceling large gatherings
Now is the time for prevention.
The City of Cordova’s Emergency Management Organization along with many other local entities have begun taking steps to prepare for a possible outbreak in Cordova and have released the following information. If you have flu-like illness or respiratory symptoms (increased fever, persistent fever that stays above 100.4F, and/or shortness of breath), please CALL AHEAD before coming into a medical facility (this applies to emergency room and clinic visits).
Coronavirus Relief Funding Options & Cost Management Strategies for Small Businesses
- *SBA Paycheck Protection Program – Primarily for payroll expenses, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) starts today and provides up to $10 million per small business in loan forgiveness for retaining employees. The loan forgiveness portion is dependent on keeping and paying employees or rehiring employees laid off in response to the COVID-19 national emergency.
- *Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance – This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties that does not have to be repaid. This complements the traditional SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program which has been in place for the entire nation, all territories and Washington, D.C. since mid-March. Please note the application process for the EIDL program was updated March 30. For those who submitted a COVID-19 EIDL application prior to March 30, unless you have already been approved or are currently working with a loan officer, you should re-apply using the new streamlined application if you have not done so already. The new application is streamlined and faster. Approval notification is estimated at approximately three days.
- *SBA Debt Relief – The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. This covers all principal, interest and fees on current and new SBA 7(a) loans made through September 27, 2020, for up to six months.
- *Express Bridge Loan – The program enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
- *The City of Cordova has offered deferment of sales tax with no penalty. Fiile now, pay by October 31, 2020.
- *The City of Cordova has also offered to not charge interest or penalties for city utility payments for the next two billing cycles. This is only a deferment — utilities payments for those two months will still be owed but without interest or penalties.
- *Call your vendors and let them know your situation. Work out deferred payments or a payment schedule. Cordova Electric Coop and Cordova Telecom Coop are offering assistance.
- *Call your credit card companies to arrange payment. They may be able to offer you a deferred payment plan without late charges or penalties.
- *If you process credit cards, most processing companies can offer quick working capital loans with no collateral. These are easy to get, but charge 7-10% interest and usually want to start collecting right away.
- *The State of Alaska is “fast-tracking” small business loans. Click here to find a loan that fits your needs.
- *Rural Development Initiative Fund: Up to $300,000 for a business. Used to create and retain jobs. Terms: 4% amortized over 25 years. One payment per year. Loans may be in a subordinate position. Collateral must haven no more than $100,000 against the asset.
- *Small Business Economic Development: If you have more than $100,000 against the asset you are using for collateral this may be a better loan for you. Loans up to $300,000 for a business. Funds can be used to purchase assets or for working capital. Terms: 4% amortized over 20 years on asset purchases and 5 ears for working capital. One payment per year. They will subordinate other loans on your collateral. The loan amount may not exceed 90% of the value of the collateral offered.
COVID-19 Business Relief News
We were heartened to hear of these new developments and resources at the State and National level aimed at helping small businesses during this trying time. We will share more details with you as they become available.
You Can Still Support Local Businesses and #ShopCordovaFirst
Click this link to view the Cordova Chamber of Commerce’s comprehensive list of local business’s status, hours, pick-up and delivery options and other accommodations they offering during this time.
News from Cordova’s Emergency Management Organization
Cordova Emergency Incident Management Team COVID-19 News
- News Release 23 MAR 20 Cordova Health Mandate 1.1 – Exemptions
- News Release 23 MAR 20
- News Release 20 MAR 20 Cordova Health Mandate
- News Release 20 MAR 20
- News Release 19 MAR 20
- News Release 18 MAR 20
- News Release 17 MAR 20
- News Release 16 MAR 20 Proclamation of Disaster Emergency by Mayor and Manager
- News Release 16 MAR 20
- News Release 14 MAR 20
- News Release 09 MAR 20
What to Do NOW to Protect You & Your Business
Take these steps now to prepare for potential negative effects:
For your customers: Make your place of business as hygienic as possible and communicate what you are doing to customers so they feel comfortable visiting. Put out hand sanitizer and disinfect surfaces and common areas regularly. Consider offering or promoting existing distance options like drop-boxes and telephone or online support.
For your business: Prepare for negative economic impacts.
– Staffing: Develop staffing plans for varying levels of customers and revenue (what does an 80% scenario plan look like?).
– Insurance: Check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage and options.
– Capital: Create, confirm, or expand your line of credit.
For your employees: Check, modify, and communicate HR policies regarding remote working, sick-leave, and compensation during health crises. Try to ensure your policies are as flexible and non-punitive as possible. Sick employees should be encouraged to STAY HOME.
For your workflow: Cross-train employees for key functions so that daily schedules can continue relatively uninterrupted by potential employee absences. Where relevant, consider staggering start and end times to reduce large numbers of people coming together at the same time; and create and test remote employee collaboration systems (consider apps such as Slack and Zoom). Consider offering telecommuting or work-from-home options for your employees. Local telecommunications providers may be able to help you.
For your cashflow: Communicate with your landlord (or tenants) and lenders about expectations and request flexibility (better to have that conversation now).
For yourself: Eat well, sleep, and exercise. Taking care of yourself in this time of stress will improve your resistance to infection and resilience in managing difficult business situations. And of course, wash your hands all the dang time and don’t touch your face, or anyone else, for that matter.
For your Fellow Business Owners: Local businesses can be of great help to us at times like this. Restaurants and other eateries offer hot, nourishing meals and many have take-out options. Libraries and retailers are great sources for books, movies and games to pass the time. Banks can assist with special loan funds. Stores selling food, medical supplies and other necessities are nearby and easily accessible. If you want to support a local business, but maybe belong to an at-risk part of the population, you can purchase a gift certificate now to be used later or ask a friend of family member to pick things up for you. Steps like that will enable local businesses to keep paying their staff – your friends and family members – and keep businesses viable in our community.
For your Chamber: For us to best serve you, we need to know and share what our members are doing to manage risks. To that end, please tell us what’s working and what you need from us! There may also be federal loans or grants available to small businesses or private, non-profit organizations that suffer substantial economic injury as a result of the declared disaster, so please let us know if you document any substantial losses to your business.
This Continuity and Recovery Plan Template can help you identify key resources and needs to ensure that business may continue, perhaps in a limited capacity, or how your business will fully recover should the disaster be catastrophic. Now is the time to plan for the moment that this is all over. Click here to download the plan template.
In The Meantime…
Better Your Business From Home
If you find yourself with some unexpected downtime, you can still use this time wisely to learn and grow your business from the safety and comfort of your home computer.
Today, our partner, Alaska Small Business Development Center (AK SBDC) decided to waive all fees for all on-demand and any new live webinars until the end of April!
The following may prove especially helpful right now:
- SBDC Financial Projections
- SBDC Business Insurance
- SBDC Basic Bookkeeping
- Live tomorrow 3/19/20: Small Business Loans and How to Prepare to Meet Lenders
- Full listing of webinars: https://aksbdc.ecenterdirect.
Here are some of our other favorites: